It was recently reported that New York City landlords, Jay and Stuart Podolsky are raising millions to house homeless New Yorkers after selling over 20 buildings to the city for a total of $173.5 million — more than the appraised value.
By: Marcus Tentrite
Financial documents show that the Brooklyn born brothers raked in approximately $188.7 million through the leasing of various properties over the last five years.
After selling 21 buildings to the city above market value, they will retain seven buildings to house the homeless — taking in millions of dollars.
New York City officials told the New York Post last Thursday that the program will cease to exist by December of 2020.
“As we continue our shelter transformation plan, we are phasing out all of their remaining shelter locations by the end of next year,” Isaac McGinn, a spokesman for the City’s Department of Homeless Services, told The Post.
The brothers raked in massive profits by providing space to the city for the purpose of providing shelter to the city’s homeless population under two different programs — traditional shelters and “cluster” units.
The City’s purchase of the 20 plus apartment buildings in Brooklyn and the Bronx formalized the acquisition of the clusters that were owned by the Podolsky brothers and earned $48.6 million between July 2013 and June 2018.
The pair also leased eight buildings as additional shelters, where they made a larger profit — $140.1 million over the same five-year period of time.
Someone who is employed by the City of New York told The Post recently that they shut down one of the Podolsky standard shelters in December 2018, reducing the number of shelters owned by the pair to seven.
New York’s Department of Homeless Services never entered into an agreement directly with the brothers, but, rather signed contracts with nonprofit organizations which rented space in buildings owned by the pair and then billed City Hall for reimbursement.
The unusual payment relationship hid the amount of money which the brothers made in a relatively short period of time.
The brothers also came under fire after the New York Times reported that Frank Carone, the main attorney for the Brooklyn Democrat Party, represented the brothers in the transaction.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer subpoenaed the records from the acquisition last week.
High ranking NYC officials have often defended the acquisition as part of a proposal to shutter the cluster program by 2020 — which originally started under Rudy Giuliani’s tenure as mayor.
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